What is coverage? The answer is that it varies. To a surgeon in the OR it means having an assistant. To an attending at a teaching hospital, it means having residents take care of their patient in-house. To a private practice doctor, it means having someone take care of patients when you are away.
If you take ER call, coverage is very important. Coverage in this case enables you to take vacation once in a while.
If you are in a group, coverage tends to not be an issue, unless of course you are doing the majority of covering for your partners as they vacation. This can lead to bad feelings.
As a solo doctor, coverage is vital, yet in many ways easier to come by than when part of a group. In many areas, ER call is valuable, so it is easy to give away. This means as a solo doc you can get away when you want.
Technology has made coverage less vital as well. With cell phones and EHRs, mundane tasks like rx refills and lab checking are non issues. With several minutes a day at a netbook, you can keep up to date and avoid the dread of the first day back mile high chart build up.
Yeh, life is good.